as a writer who crossed over into strategy (and by that i mean tripped, hit my head and woke up on the other side of the fence with a throbbing skull and the desire to speak, live and think rhetorically), my favourite part of the marketing and advertising process was always the part where i got to write up consumer psychographics. i’ve been told i’m quite good at it. i’ve also been told i’m quite good at lying and manipulating people, but i guess like everything in life it depends on your attitude.
one thing i noticed about market research is how deeply marketers read between the lines. if a consumer says “I like Coke Zero”, a bunch of invisible subtitles that only us marketers can see comes up which translates that sentence into:
“I am a young female who was once naturally skinny except now i have passed the age of 21 and got some muffin tops which have caused me to stop buying Levi’s jeans since they only really fit hip-less girls and now I buy my jeans at Woolworths because I am scared if I spend too much money on a brand it will be a waste because I will probably get fatter and have to buy more jeans anyway. My ideal car would be a Mini Cooper and while I don’t save yet I appreciate Standard Bank’s attempts to lure me into their Achiever Plan with neat discounts from Apple. Apple 4 Ever. PC sucks. I aspire to Scarlett Johanssen because she is sexy and proud of her curves and has a brain because she did an album of Tom Waits covers.”
so when i discovered this site called Beforeidieiwantto.org i thought it would be handy resource for marketers. What you do is print out the Polaroids and use them as Flash Cards to flex your psychographic muscles when you’re sitting around sharpening your pencils and pretending to put briefs into the system. treat the statements about what the consumers want to do before they die as insights into the mind of the consumer, and translate it into strategy speak.
>>>>>beforeidieiwantto is a site set up by some Polaroid fans to protest Polaroid’s decision to stop making film. basically they go around taking Polaroids of people and asking them to name one thing they want to do before they die. i guess it captures the spontaneity and spirit of Polaroid while turning each photo into something meaningful and completely non-disposable, ie. the total opposite digital photography.let’s take a look at what kind of conclusions you can draw from the following consumers and their Polaroid statements:
Demographics: Age 18 - 23, LSM 6+, Male.
“My parents love me and want me to succeed in my own time so they buy me tops from Guess and Diesel (sometimes) and my jeans from Levi’s from Edgars because my mom has a card there. I tell people I drink Heineken because it makes me feel like I am absorbing a bit of the zany-ness in their ads through osmosis but I’ll drink anything really. I listen to 5fm and i belong to the Junior Rotary Club (a.k.a i pay a Tiger Tiger VIP membership fee so i can skip the queue). I drive an Opel Corsa but I aspire to a Hummer and I once entered that 5fm competiton to win one but i kept forgetting to phone in so I didn’t. I have a girlfriend but she hates me because i play Xbox when she’s over and the one time she thought i gave her herpes. I watch TV as often as I can because I believe an education is really important.”
Demographics: age 21 - 25, LSM 6+, Female
“I was one of those awkward teenagers who eschewed mainstream cool culture, and used words like ‘eschewed’. Because I am of above average intelligence i realise that not buying into mainstream means i buy into alternative, and i looked to art for my inspiration eg. Rammstein, mIRC, Doc Martens. Marketers who want to get my attention should appeal to the fact that I consider myself above my peers because i don’t buy into MTV culture. I do have some insecure moments and I have caught myself comparing diet products. I am and always will be a PC person and think people who use Apples are dupes. I spend my spare money on figurines and fantasy novels and i get a LOT of cashback vouchers from Exclusive Books. I don’t watch TV because i get my series downloaded. I drink White Horse whisky because it’s actually a good blend and Lagavulin is its core malt, which means I use knowledge of exclusive brands as status symbols. If I were a car I would be a Black Vintage Chevrolet, or whatever the car is in Death Proof. Tarantino is a genius.”
**********Get Practising your psychographic skills HERE**************
PS. I really respect this initiative, since i have a Polaroid camera and I really really don’t want to run out of film.
Posted in advertising, consumer, insight, personal branding, youth
Tagged advertising, analysing, before i die i want to, bell's whisky, black vintage chevrolet, chat, consumer insight, core malt, death proof, doc martens, flash cards, free, heineken, how to write psychographics, lagavulin, market research, marketing, mIRC, mybrandedlife, party, polaroid, print out, profiling, psychographic, rammstein, save polaroid, south african, stop making film, tarantino, teens, youth
Dave is shocked at yet another photo being taken of myself and Nicole.
Dot Dot Dot. No more need be said.
Here Jo Thomas looks like the lead singer of a band. On the balcony at the Night Before braai.
I think this photo encapsulates Carla and I over Loeries Weekend. This is from the 2nd night at the event.
Mike Abel's underwear. Believe it, because it's true.
Von Brandis Von Brandishing. This is really what Loeries is about. Lucas is pretty indifferent to it all.
Welcome signs for Jo and Kev, who drove up. In a real car. Srsly.
Rei and I get down.
Matching in our desaturated metallics.
Posted in cool stuff i like, my real life, parties, people i work with, The Loerie Awards
Tagged advertising, alex, awards, dancing, durban, jocks, KZN, Margate, marketing, mike abel, mybrandedlife, ogilvy, party, photos, reijer van der vlugt, show, sue stewart, The Loerie Awards 2008, tight whities, underwear
i’m fortunate enough to have a 3 week holiday ahead of me, during which i shall do all sorts of things except be on my computer. until then, have a good one.
Posted in seen around town
Tagged alex, blog, Cape Town, changing jobs, costume, holiday, lucheros, mybrandedlife, party, reijer, sabbatical, south africa, superhero, vacation, work, wrestling
Mark, Reijer and I went to the Jitsvinger & ETC performance at 14 Hope Street last night. the venue isn’t the best for MCs since it’s a hall and it makes the sound bounce around and echo and you don’t get to hear the best of what they’re saying, but it was an energetic performance no less. partially charged by the energy of the ardent fans who were clearly there to recite every lyric word for word, the rest of the crowd was a strange mix. in fact, there was a granny who outdid everybody in terms of stamina and enthusiasm when it came to dancing. to me it seemed like a mix of family and close friends, made up by a bunch of youngsters i didn’t recognise, which is not something that usually happens in Cape Town.
Mark and I were hypothesizing that if we didn’t recognise anyone, it can’t be populated by the usual advertising crowd, therefore maybe Levi’s was actually reaching its market? rather have fewer on targets (the hall wasn’t even half full) than lots that miss the target. quality over quantity. got some pics:
jitsvinger, moments before he mimicked pulling a gun on me. seriously. freaking artists:
huge cuervo presence at the bar, with brands like Bell’s Whisky (WTF? Demographic brain freeze perhaps?), Smirnoff Spin, Storm, Heinekin and Windhoek bringing up the rear.
more crowd vibes
Posted in Africa, alcohol, ambassadors, branding, Cape Town, fashion, music, parties, popculture, retail, SA "street", SA cool kids, sponsorship
Tagged 14 hope street, activations, alex, bad sound, bell's whisky, brand, branding, Cape Town, coloured, converse shoes, ETC, event, gangs, gold tequila, heineken beer, hiphop, jitsvinger, jose cuervo, levi strauss, levi's young guns, mark stead, mitchell's plain, mybrandedlife, new talent, original music, party, rapper, reijer van der vlugt, retail, rhyming, smirnoff spin, smirnoff storm, south africa, sponsorship, street, township, white rapper, windhoek lager, young musicians
the agency where i cut my teeth has always known how to throw a party, and this was one of their finer moments. drinks of the evening were tanqueray10 and tonic, which is like juicy herb goodness, and don julio – in shooters, in hair, on the floor.
James and Alistair giving out words and swords.
colleagues and close, close friends.
a lonely passenger on a bus, ross chowles from jupiter drawing room:
on the floor with my ex-boss jenny
joanie and jono, rocking out
megan strat planner extraordinaire and nicky rush
jen and tracey kirsten from brandhouse
jody and linton
mark kisses anina’s burgeoning belly
alistair talking to a dress i really like
it’s sue! and that guy from kj joburg…
robyn – my old desk mate / art director / fellow security god – and me
devin tells a junior not to get so drunk
the willoughby took of his clothes
and haydn managed to fall asleep in a corner of the agency, though this time it looks like he came prepared.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged 10 year reunion, advertising, agency, alex, alistair king, Cape Town, gardens, james barty, jenny ehlers, jupiter drawing room, king james, my branded life, party, ross chowles, wembley square
it was Amo’s birthday yesterday and Ruth came up with this idea that we should make her work for her presents. or at least run around a bit. so we each got her a gift and wrapped it and her first gift was a clue, which hinted at the next person’s desk where the gift would be hidden. with each gift was another clue, so she had to hop from desk to desk. we followed her around like a crowd of paparazzi, and every time she found a gift we all yelled YAY and it was good times. here are some pics:
and ruth, mastermind of the adventure
Posted in cool stuff i like, instant grass, office fun, parties, people i work with
Tagged ammal ismael, birthday, blog, Cape Town, celebrations, fun, gifts, green point, ideas, IGHQ, instant grass, mybrandedlife, office, party, south african, treasure hunt, youth
self-portrait at Johnnie Walker Red Party in Carlton Hotel, Johannesburg.
rad colours found in a parking lot in Groote Schuur hospital in cape town a few years ago on a shoot.
ring by Olive Green Cat for a friend of mine.
Posted in Cape Town, consumer, cool stuff i like, design, fashion, johannesburg, parties, SA "street", seen around town, small interesting brands
Tagged Cape Town, carlton hotel, cool stuff seen around, fashion design, groote schuur hospital, jewellery, johannesburg, johnnie walker red label, location, mybrandedlife, olive green cat, party, premium, rocket ring, whisky, youth
it was marcia’s birthday today, so we ate hot dogs and chocolate cake and sang to her.
We talked about name-changes and going to see the Boks parade in their World Cup Victory celebrations. and here is a photo of Dan having his cake and eating it.
Posted in instant grass, office fun, parties, people i work with
Tagged birthday, blog, cake, daniel beatty, fun, instant grass, marcia, office, party, south african
Goran (Unit R) and Nicole
Johann from Kid of Doom and Ben from Johnny Neon also DJ Sasskwatch.
Johan and Jess, who used to work with us and now works as editor of Love Cape Town magazine.
Some random graffiti. Blurry too. I know.
Posted in Cape Town, parties, seen around town
Tagged armchair theatre, blog, Cape Town, graffiti, kid of doom, MyBrandedLife(TM), observatory, party, south africa, sovereign academy, street, unit r, youth culture